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Good job! You deserve compliment or complement?

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Sep 16

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It is very common to find people substituting compliment with complement and vice versa. Let’s take a look at the two words.


Compliment is a noun and a verb. As a noun, compliment is a remark that says something good about someone or expresses admiration or approval.

Example: When customers recommend our company to family and friends we consider it to be the highest compliment we can receive.

In its verb form, compliment means to say nice things about someone or something, or to express respect or admiration for someone or something.

Example: Michael’s teammates complimented him on his promotion as vice president of the company.


When using compliment as an adjective, it becomes complimentary.

Sentence example: Michael’s teammates made complimentary remarks about his promotion as vice president of the company.

In addition to the meaning above, complimentary also means free.

Example: The company offers stationery as a complimentary product.


Complement means something that completes something else or makes it better.

Example: Sahil’s neatly sewn jacket is a complement to his outfit.

Complement can also be used as a verb. It means to complete or enhance something by providing something additional.

Example: The tasty dinner was complemented by a splendid dessert.


Complementary is an adjective. It means completing something else or making it better.

Example: The company and its partners have a complementary goal to serve their clients better.


These are homophones (with the same pronunciation) and their usages can be confusing. If you’re saying nice things about people, it is compliment/complimentary. If you’re talking about completing or enhancing something – it is complement/complementary.

Posted by : Sharmila Gautama

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